I’m not sure when it happened, but I have become “one of those yoga girls.”
I never used to “get” yoga.
I would see girls walking around, these perfect girls with their yoga mats.
I felt like they belonged to a clique that I could never join.
I had tried yoga before, mostly on tapes, and felt like I could never get into any of the poses. I felt like I just wasn’t flexible. I just watched in envy as these girls who looked flexible and strong could bend and twist with what looked like no effort.
But I still wanted to be able to join that clique. I wanted to be like those girls. I wanted to like yoga. I had read about and heard about all the many health benefits of yoga. I had read about the mental benefits of yoga. I really did want to like yoga.
Late last year, I got a great Groupon deal, 20 hot yoga classes for $20. The yoga studio was right near my house, so I thought I would try taking yoga classes.
It was the most intense workout I had ever done.
And there was nothing easy about it.
But I loved it.
I kept going back. I noticed I could go a little further, do a little bit more each time I went. The poses I couldn’t get, pushed me to keep trying to get it.
I stopped being envious of those “perfect” yoga girls.
I saw them doing poses that I couldn’t do yet, and instead of seeing how easy it looked for them, I realized how much work and time they had put into yoga, into pushing themselves in order to be able to do that.
I noticed that everyone, including the instructors, can wobble and get off balance. No one was perfect. I learned to understand what they say over and over in class…focus on YOUR practice. Go to YOUR edge. And I stopped comparing myself to how everyone was doing, and just started looking at how I was doing, and how I felt. I felt something shift inside me.
And somewhere along the way, I fell in love with yoga. I get up early to go to class, me the girl who never got up a minute earlier than I had to, was all of a sudden getting up at 5 am to make it a 6:15 class. I was even getting up early on a Saturday to go to yoga. This was unheard of even six months ago.
My yoga studio gives out bracelets, like the LiveStrong bracelets, for people who complete a number of classes. They are to recognize a person’s dedication and commitment to yoga, to the journey, to encourage and celebrate individual achievements. This past Thursday, I got my first yoga bracelet, for completing 30 classes. This bracelet, this level represents the Journey.
I am loving this journey and I can’t wait to see where it will take me.